Image formation research on the importance of physical attractiveness in the media and youth assistance.

In our society, physical attractiveness is being much more emphasised than desirable. We are constantly being confronted with beautiful people in the media, on television, in films and on the fashion scene. Physically less attractive people are being increasingly discriminated against on the basis of their physical appearance. In this book, the author draws up an inventory of the existing research materials on the subject matter. The following topcs are covered: what is the meaning of physical attractiveness, what's the influence of attractiveness on several aspects in a person's life and in partner choice, the link between attractiveness and personality, the branding of people on the basis of a physical defect, the influence of the media and publicity, consequences such as food disorders and Body Dysmorphic Disorder. A report will be published on an investigation that was done during the springtime of 2003. 3,387 Flemish people and Dutchmen / -women have been questioned on their attitude towards (un)attractiveness. Furthermore, 79 social workers and 92 youngsters of 13 services in supplementary youth benefit gave their opinion about how (un)attractiveness stands in relation with social aid. Part of the book is a CD-ROM with background information on the subject matter, such as the role of beauty in the past, the importance of having an attractive face, past campaigns on the subject matter and an elaborated report of the survey. Finally, the reader can find various printable work models that can be instantly used, stories, educational games, a comic strip and songs that are suitable for young children, youngsters and adults in order to be used in a self-therapeutical context or in education and social aid, working on the impact of (un)attractiveness. The book is supported by a website: http//
The author, Gerard Gielen (1959), who graduated in pedagogics-sexology, is working as a university lecturer at the Limburg Catholic University of Professional Education, at the department of social studies. He is a member of the editorial staff of the social magazine 'Sociaal' and has published several articles on welfare. He also wrote a workbook on intercultural aid (Kluwer).

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